AMERICAN IDIOMS AND SLANG (A)
Idioms starting with A
Here is our list of popular "A" idioms that are used in American English:
Nearly time, high time. ex. "It's about time you bought a new car!"
(To) ace (v.):
(a test, exam, etc.) To pass a test, exam, etc. really easily. ex: "Robert aced his physics exam."
(To) act high and mighty:
To act proudly and arrogantly. ex. "He has been acting all high and mighty ever since he chased away that burglar."
Actions speak louder than words:
Proverb meaning that's it's better to do something about a problem than to talk about it.
(To) act one's age:
To behave in a more mature way. Frequently said to a child or teen. ex. "Bill, stop throwing rocks! Act your age!"
(To) add fuel to the fire:
To make a bad problem even worse. ex. "He added fuel to the fire by bringing up old grudges while they were arguing."
(To) add insult to injury:
To make a bad situation even worse.
A dime a dozen:
Very common; Said of something that is so easy to find that it don't have much value. ex: "Girls like her are a dime a dozen." (There are lots of girls like her.)
Against the clock:
To attempt to do something "against the clock" is to attempt to do something as fast as possible, usually in order to make a deadline.
ex. "They were working against the clock to finish the project."
: Used to mean "very" in phrases such as "He was all nervous" (He was very nervous), "He was all happy" (He was very happy), or "so" in phrases such as "Don't get all emotional."
When someone says "I'm all ears", they are telling you that they are listening to you, that they are giving you their undivided attention.
A period of work or study that lasts all night. Most often used with the verb "pull", ie. "to pull an all-nighter". ex: "We pulled an all-nighter in order to finish the project."
Full-scale; complete. ex: "They said it was only a few skirmishes, but it was an all-out war."
Ready (to go). ex. "All set?"
All in a day's work:
Typical; normal; par for the course. ex. "Talking to famous celebrities is all in a day's work for some Hollywood reporters."
(From) all walks of life:
(From) all social, economic, and ethnic groups. ex. "People from all walks of life voted for him, but he still lost the presidential election."
Short form for "ammunition". ex: "I ran out of ammo."
A devious plan; a scheme. Often used with the verb "to work". ex: "He claims to be on the level, but I'm sure he's working some angle."
Armed to the teeth:
Heavily armed. ex. "The rebels were armed to the teeth."
24/7, all day and night, non-stop; ex: "The house was being watched around the clock."
On its own, this phrase is used to suggest/emphasize that something is not likely/ not going happen. ex: "He thinks I'll go out with him. As if!"
At all hours (of the night):
Very late at night; throughout the night. ex. "Her boyfriend would call her at all hours of the night."
At each other's throats:
Fighting or arguing hard. ex. "They were at each other's throats, arguing non stop."
At this stage:
At this point. ex. "At this stage, it's difficult to say who will win the election."
: Great; Fantastic; Super: ex: "That was an awesome movie."
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